Substituting mischief for respect


Kasey Harvey

Substitute Bernard Broderick sits in on a classroom while the primary teacher is away. Wingspan's Ana Toro shares her thoughts on giving substitutes respect.

Ana Toro, Guest Contributor

At some point in the day, there is a small group of students that look forward to going to their next class, but the reason why is somewhat cruel.

Students enjoy the classes they have with substitute teachers, however, not because of a positive feeling, but rather a sinister one. That feeling is the one that you can do almost anything in class like cheat, be on your phone, sleep, or mess around, and get away with it.

No doubt that there are substitutes that truly don’t care about the students or the class they are teaching. These substitutes tend to let students do what they like and have little to no regard for the rules that are in place in the class and sometimes in the school.

But regardless of that, substitutes are often treated without respect and are never taken seriously. Many students take advantage of the lack of control that a substitute has over the class and use it for comical or other mischievous purposes.

Many teachers have strict policies concerning phones and seating arrangements which are often violated whenever a substitute is there as students are often opportunistic when it comes to substitutes. Even the students that hate teamwork for anything will work together to make a substitutes life difficult.

Why do some feel that it is ok to make someone, who took time out of their day to come and teach students because their regular teacher couldn’t, feel unwelcome and powerless? There is nothing worse than feeling like you’re wasting your time doing something that you enjoy.

What everyone fails to consider is that if ever a situation arises, a substitute, just like any other teacher, will put their lives at risk for the students. Most kids ignore the fact that their substitute doesn’t have an obligation to come in and teach them. They don’t have to take time out of their day to work with teens, which, let’s be honest, isn’t an easy task most of the time.

We must learn to appreciate substitutes and treat them with the respect that they deserve because without them, our teachers wouldn’t have anyone to help them when they are gone for the day. Substitutes care about our education just as much as our regular teacher does and we need to recognize that and be thankful for it.